2018 Top Daily Fantasy Baseball Hitters

2018 Top Daily Fantasy Baseball Pitchers

Clayton KershawIf you are just starting to play daily fantasy baseball games, you will already know that picking a starting pitcher each night for your lineup is the most important fantasy pick in your contest. Pitchers have the ability to score more fantasy points in a night than any of the other positions and a bad outing from a starter can pretty much sink your team especially at DraftKings where you only get to pick one pitcher.

DraftKings Fantasy Baseball Contests

When making a daily fantasy baseball lineup you want to find either the best pitcher that night or the pitcher that will offer you the best value for your salary cap dollars so that you can pick up some top fantasy baseball hitters to complete your DFS lineup.

Looking at Pitching Stats

Baseball is all about stats and fantasy baseball players that play regularly and win often will pour over tons of stats to figure out which pitchers they should build their fantasy team around. Here are some statistics that you can easily find and you should include in your analysis of top fantasy pitchers.

Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP)

  • Think the ERA is what defines a good or bad pitcher? Think again! The ERA allows for factors that a pitcher can’t control such as bad defense, seeing eye ground balls or bloop singles. FIP stats focus on what the pitcher can control such as strikeouts, walks, hit by pitches and homeruns. Although FIP is also a better indicator of the ability of the pitcher, don’t completely discount ERA as in reality if the team is a bad defensive team, all the hits and runs scored are still going to count against you.

K’s per 9 - Pitcher Strikeout Ratio

  • This is my favorite stat for all types of fantasy baseball games but for daily fantasy it is a great tool. In FanDuel, pitchers get a full point for every strikeout and at our affiliate partner DraftKings they get 2 points per K. Having DFS sites emphasize strikeouts for scoring gives fantasy pitchers with a high K/9 ratio a huge advantage.

***Fantasy Tip*** National League pitchers get to face a pitcher as a batter 2-3 times in a game, a pitcher with a high K/9 ratio is probably going to get an extra strikeout or two per night just for that factor alone.

Walk Ratio - BB/9

  • Walks lead to runs and runs lead to negative points in fantasy baseball and usually an early hook from the game. You lose points as well for walks so try to look for pitchers that have a lower BB/9 ratio. Walks lead to high pitch counts also and ultimately you want to choose pitchers that will stay in the game longer as they also get points for every inning pitched. Walks are bad – pick pitchers that don’t walk as many hitters.

Ground - Ball Rate

  • Is the pitcher you are looking at playing in a hitter friendly park? Then you want to find a pitcher that has a high ground ball rate to minimize the long ball. Although these pitchers have a tendency to give up more hits in a game (especially with a bad defense) they allow fewer extra base hits especially homeruns. Typically you want a pitcher with a high ground ball rate unless they are in a pitcher friendly park where fly balls tend to stay in a park.

Home/Away Splits

  • Some pitchers can only pitch well at home and some are best for road games. There may be no rhyme or reason for this but it is a fact…some pitchers just pitch better at home than on the road and vice versa. This stat really comes into play when you have a pitcher that does amazing at home because it’s a pitcher friendly park (Petco) and the ERA jumps on the road. Conversely, pitchers for Colorado see their numbers improve when they are away from their home park of Coors Field. Although it’s not a statistic that I heavily lean on in analysis, it is one to keep an eye on nonetheless.


Looking at stats is one thing but who the pitcher is facing and where is a big factor in choosing a top daily fantasy pitcher on a given night.

What’s the line in Vegas – Pitchers get points for wins – even team wins so even if your pitcher gets pulled early from a bad outing, they can still pick up a bunch of points for the win. Do the odds makers favor a team more heavily than another? Obviously you want to still analyze all the factors in this article but having a sense of which team will win is a huge factor.

***Fantasy Tip*** Take a peek at the Over/Under for the game too. If the odds makers have it as a high scoring game, that could be bad for your pitcher. If it’s a low O/U and predicted to be a pitcher’s duel, even without a win, your pitcher may still be able to stuff the stat sheet in other ways.


Ballpark Factors – Is it a Hitter Friendly Park or a Pitcher Friendly Park? Coors field kills a pitchers stats almost on a nightly basis and Cy Young pitchers appear when pitching in San Diego’s Petco Park. Obviously all the other ball parks fall in between but some sway in one direction over another so do your analysis and keep it in mind.

Weather Factors – Hot and humid causes the ball to travel and cold and rainy sometimes favor a pitcher (but not always). What is the forecast? Is the game in a dome stadium? Is there potential for the game to be postponed? You don’t want a pitcher in your FanDuel lineup to miss his start because of a rain out and kill your fantasy team right there.

Strikeout Potential – We looked at K/9 above but some teams are just full of great hitters that don’t strike out often and some seem like they are up there swatting at flies around the plate. Look for teams with a low team batting average and see if they also have a high strikeout ratio as a team. Keep in mind too their righty/lefty splits as they could be a lineup stacked with right handed hitters facing a left handed pitcher and they mash leftys all the time.

Opponent’s wOBA – We discuss the wOBA in our Top Daily Fantasy Baseball Hitters page in more detail. You can spot good pitching matchups looking at a team’s wOBA against right handed and left handed pitching.


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2018 Top Fantasy Pitchers for your Baseball Lineups

The tools above will help you figure out which are the best DFS pitchers to select on a nightly basis. The pitchers below are the Top Fantasy Pitchers in 2018 that you should look at almost every night to anchor your lineup. They are almost always going to be a high salary cap cost at sites like our affiliate partners DraftKings and FanDuel so use the analysis above when looking at spending that precious salary cap money to try to find the best pitcher of the night.

Los Angeles DodgersClayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers)

Kershaw was injured again last year but when he pitched he was lights out. You can almost never go wrong sticking Kershaw into your DFS lineups.

Washington NationalsMax Scherzer (Washington Nationals)

Scherzer won the Cy Young for the second year in a row and had one of his best seasons yet statistically. With the Nationals looking at making another playoff run Matt Scherzer will continue to be a daily fantasy baseball stud!

Boston Red SoxChris Sale (Boston Red Sox)

Amazingly Sale's numbers improved moving to Fenway. He was second in Cy Young voting and rewarded DFS players almost every start he made. He's not a cheap option but he is a winning one.

Cleveland IndiansCorey Kluber (Cleveland Indians)

Kluber won his second career Cy Young award and with the Indians playing in a weak division once again he will be a popular pick especially when playing against division rivals.


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